The US courts do have jurisdiction as the alleged crime (visa fraud) was committed on the US.

The Indian Panorama sought the view of Attorney Anand Ahuja on the statement of MEA spokesperson after US had reindicted Devyani Khobragade. The comments of more knowledgeable sources are being obtained on the issue and will be published in the next issues of The Indian Panorama. Readers are invited to send their comments.

The Indian Panorama question and the response of Attorney Anand Ahuja are given below.
* India has reacted to re indictment of Khobragade. A spokesman for MEA has stated: “We reiterate that the case has no merit. Therefore this second indictment has no impact on our stated position. Now that Dr Khobragade has returned to India, the court in the US has no jurisdiction in India over her. Government will, therefore, no longer engage on this case in the US’ legal system.”

Your take on the comment, please? Response:
The US courts do have jurisdiction as the alleged crime (visa fraud) was committed on the US. The laws of various US departments such as US Department of State, and US Department of Labor, US Department of Homeland Securities were violated by her within the US jurisdictions. Therefore, US courts still have jurisdiction on her. The concerned authorities in the USA, legally can seek her extradition as both USA and India are signatory to such extradition treaty.

However, considering the nature of her alleged crime, USA probably will not go in for extradition route. On the contrary, authorities in the USA will wait for her to enter USA. Once she enters USA, she would be, most likely, arrested then. * The MEA Spokesperson further said: “This was an unnecessary step. Any measures consequent to this decision in the US, will unfortunately impact upon efforts on both sides to build the India-US strategic partnership, to which both sides are committed.”

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Your take on it? Response:
Both USA and India have taken a position that this unfortunate incident shall not and should not damper Indo-USA relationship. If it’s an unnecessary step or not is a matter of perception. The premise for India’s position is that USA should treat an Indian VIP, charged with crime, in the same manner it’s treated in India. This incident has exposed differences between the two countries over such basic concepts as fairness and equality. Devyani broke the USA laws and has been charged. The message that India is trying to convey to the world is that nobody can dare to treat Indian elite “a normal”, not even for violating the rule of law in a foreign country.

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